Bozeman Top 10 Finalist for Best Town Ever in Outside Magazine

Hikers walk through a trail at Peets Hill in Bozeman, Saturday, May 25. Outside Magazine has named Bozeman a top 10 finalist in its "Best Towns Ever" competition.

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Bozeman has made a lot of “best” lists, but here’s a new one: Best. Town. Ever.

Outside Magazine has named Bozeman a top 10 finalist in its “Best Towns Ever” competition.

“There’s a reason Bozeman’s cowboys are now outnumbered by the collegiate crowd — there are few better places to enjoy the outdoors,” the magazine’s website states.

“Whether skiing Bridger and Big Sky resorts, fishing the first-rate Madison or Yellowstone rivers, or taking long runs in the Tobacco Root mountains, Bozeman’s easy access is hard to beat. Friendly neighbors and small-town hangouts like the Molly Brown Bar (it has the cheapest beer and best game of pool in town) lend a college town feel to the fastest growing county in the state.”

The magazine also lauds Bozeman’s low commute time, gyms and sports shops and bicycling opportunities. With a population of 38,000, the city’s median income is $44,412 and median home price is $269,000, according to Outside.

The top 10 finalists are featured on Outside Magazine’s Facebook page, where participants can vote for their favorite town once a day until June 10.

The winning town will be featured in the September issue of Outside Magazine. In addition, one lucky voter will also be randomly selected to win a trip to one of the top 10 cities.

The magazine holds the “Best Town” contest every year, offering different titles for cities around the country.

Associate Editor Ryan Krogh said Friday that this year’s contest focused on cities with an “easy and active lifestyle.” Writers and editors at the magazine started by compiling a list of about 100 potential cities and then whittled it down to the 10 finalists. Last year, Outside readers voted Richmond, Va., the most livable river town.

The winner of the “Best Town Ever” contest will be primarily selected based on Facebook votes, but comments on the website will also be considered, Krogh said.

“Those comments, lots of times, will sort of reveal for us about why voters are passionate about their city, and we sort of factor that into our decision,” he said.

Amanda Ricker can be reached at or 582-2628. She is on Twitter at @amandaricker.

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